EIT InnoEnergy, the Eindhoven-based innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe, and Paris-based Demeter Investment Managers, have announced the launch of a substantial €500M fund dedicated to the development of a resilient and diverse raw battery material supply chain for Europe.
The fund, known as the EBA Strategic Battery Materials Fund or EBA Materials Fund, builds upon the success of the European Battery Alliance (EBA250) in its work to establish a robust European battery industry. The launch comes as European demand for batteries continues to soar, shining light on significant weaknesses in the upstream of the EU’s battery material supply chain.
Robert Baylis, portfolio manager for EIT InnoEnergy stated: “The European Green Deal, towards meeting net-zero 2050, can only be achieved by expanding the secure supply of raw materials. Now front-and-centre of policy (as evidenced by the new Critical Raw Materials Act), strategic battery material supply activity needs to catch-up in Europe. “
In line with the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) requirements to decrease the EU’s overreliance on foreign supply, the fund aims to boost domestic capacities for strategic battery materials such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite. Diego Pavia, CEO of EIT InnoEnergy, emphasized the need to intensify efforts in domestic battery raw materials production.
Demeter, with its extensive knowledge in green technology and infrastructure, will serve as the fund manager. EIT InnoEnergy will use its industry background (demonstrated by its stewardship of EBA250 since 2017) and its wider proficiency in early-stage investments to pinpoint and back high-risk ventures. Societe Generale has also been appointed as the sole financial consultant for the fundraising process.
The fund allocates at least 70% of investments to projects enhancing EU domestic production, spanning mining, processing, refining, and recycling in the EU and neighbouring nations. The remaining 30% targets boosting raw material supply from EU Raw Material Partnership countries, including Canada, Namibia, and Argentina.
The fund is committed to supporting initiatives that meet the highest environmental benchmarks, in accordance with the EU Battery Regulation and the developing CRMA standards. Its goal is to achieve a prominent ESG rating as an Article 8 fund, in harmony with the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
Managing partner at Demeter, Antoine Troesch, expressed delight at launching this initiative together with EIT InnoEnergy, in a critical segment for European countries to succeed in energy and ecological transition.
This innovative fund is a significant step towards securing a thriving and resilient European battery industry, bolstering diversification via trade and cooperation with reliable partners, and ensuring a sustainable, traceable, and transparent battery materials supply chain.